Pinterest, Brands, And The Future of Visual Discovery [STATS]



Pinterest exec Arthur Sevilla took the stage at Social Media Week Chicago to share why marketers should pay attention to the platform’s recent strides in visual search.


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Pinterest is a platform built on the concept that providing consumers with a personalized discovery feed of inspirational content is the best way to turn browsing into action.

Arthur Sevilla, Vertical Strategy Lead, CPG, at Pinterest recently took the stage at Social Media Week Chicago to explore how marketers can make the most of the platform’s creative, brand-friendly ecosystem. The talk came on the heels of Pinterest’s debut of Pin Codes—a modern-day version of QR codes that ties physical products to inspirational ideas.

Sevilla noted that Pinterest is different than other platforms in that the “time spent” metric is not the most relevant KPI since the end goal is to help users find activities that interest them and then go do those activities in the real world.

A pioneer in visual search

In addition to driving action, Pinterest’s other big goal is to curate content on the internet. For the last 20 years, Sevilla noted that consumers mainly used search bars to find content, which limited their discovery to things they were able to articulate with graspable words and phrases. In the real world, we may know what we’re looking for, but may not know how to phrase it. Pinterest helps close this gap by using pinner behavior, interests, inquiries, and aspirations to deliver relevant visual content.

In some ways, the content Pinterest provides a user with is more relevant and authentic content than what they would see on larger social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat. Sevilla argues that this is due to the fact that on many social platforms, the content people share reflects what they are choosing to show to their friends.

On Pinterest, the behavior is more akin to a scrapbook: it’s more personal and self-reflective. Pinterest gathers this information from individual data points that form patterns, which then creates what Sevilla and others at Pinterest refer to as a “taste graph.”

Where brands fit in the taste graph

Pinterest’s proprietary taste graph is used to determine how a user interprets a word. For example, everyone has a different image of what a chair looks like. Some people may picture a lounge chair while others may think of a sleek modern chair. Pinterest uses these pin histories to tailor relevant results that accurately predict what someone wants to see.

Sevilla remarked that Pinterest is powerful because it tends to be more actionable and personalized than other platforms. Moreover, brands can connect with users at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. The average Pinterest user explores the platform to get ideas when they are intending to do something and haven’t made up their mind yet about what brand to buy or what project to take on next.

In fact, the lion’s share of searches on the platform (90%+) don’t mention a brand. This creates a tremendous whitespace for marketers to influence decisions at an earlier stage with rich and relevant content that delivers genuine value to consumers. A successful brand on Pinterest creates content that inspires users to become better versions of themselves.

Key takeaways

When creating content for Pinterest, Sevilla shared three key pieces of advice for marketers:

  1. Context is key. Brands should strive to share relevant content at a moment when they can influence a consumer’s decision-making.
  2. Pictures are more powerful than words. Pinterest believes that the visual is the world of tomorrow and that the camera will ultimately be the new search bar.
  3. Measure and optimize content. Track pins and topics to find patterns. Need more inspiration? Pinterest publishes regular trendspotting reports on themes that are resonating over time.

Visual discovery statistics to bookmark

  • The brain processes images 60x faster than it does words (Source: Pinterest).
  • 40 percent of all consumers rely on a visual piece of content to make a purchase decision (Source: Pinterest).
  • 57 percent of users made a purchase because of pins from businesses (Source: Pinterest).
  • 92 percent campaigns saw sales lifts after using Pinterest (Source: Pinterest).
  • Users see 40 and 45 images before an action is taken and they begin the journey to what they are looking for and 200 million people use Pinterest every month (Source: Pinterest).
  • 1 in 2 millennials use Pinterest, so do 67 percent of women between 25 and 34 (Source: Pinterest).
  • 33 percent of dads are active on Pinterest (Source: Pinterest).
  • 40 percent of a Pinterest’s user base has an income of 100,000 dollars or more (Source: Pinterest).
  • 73 percent of users say pins from brands are useful (Source: Pinterest).
  • 100 billion pins have been posted to-date (Source: Pinterest).
  • Over 1 trillion data points have been collected to power Pinterest’s taste graph (Source: Pinterest).
  • Pinterest sees 2 million monthly active visual searches (Source: Pinterest).

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